Category Archives: traveling

Adios 2016: My Visual Survey of 2016 and wishes for 2017

 

Following up with Gala Darling’s post about her visual survey, I have answered back in visuals as well.

Many have stated this year as glad to be over due to being dreadful, upside down, sideways, topsy turvy and so on.  But it’s important to also note the good as well as the bad. To question how we can grow from it or how we grew from it and what we can do next.

Many highs and lows in my life, growing can be as they say growing pains. But we need this in the process to become our fully grown beautiful self.

The beginning of this year I was living alone and now I am sharing a new home with my loving man. We have had our ups and downs by adjusting to our quirks but in the end I have learned and loved so much from it.

So here we go with mine below and in Gala’s words if you wish to do a summary visual, “have fun with it. Add questions in if you want! Post your answers on your blog or Facebook, or even email them to your friends!”

2016 SUMMARIZED IN ONE PICTURE… 

Up and down and all around

AND… 

seeing the light but seems so far away and tiny to enter into

MY BIGGEST INSPIRATION IN 2016 WAS…

OPRAH!!! With her Super Soul Sundays to Supersessions I have learned and been enlightened

HOW I FEEL ABOUT THE REMAINDER OF THIS MONTH…

reminiscing and enjoying our current mother nature

MY 2017 VIBE…

not caring what others think, be confident and attain my dreams/vision

HOW I FEEL ABOUT MYSELF…

loving myself

HOW I FEEL ABOUT MY LOVE LIFE…

Joy, laughter, united, only eyes for each other

MY CAREER GOALS…

self entrepreneur

HOW I WANT TO DRESS ON A DAILY BASIS…

AND LIKE THIS…..

WHEN I’M FEELING UNSURE, I’LL REMEMBER TO CHANNEL THIS…

my inner fighter, my inner universe, my inner mother nature

AND THIS….

I WILL SPEND MORE TIME……

traveling

AND…..

reading, cuddling, my safe-haven

HOW I’M GOING TO ROLL INTO 2017…

with love

HOW I’M GOING TO FEEL AT THE END OF 2017…

in charge and conquering my dreams/visions in a colorful life

This was a ton of fun! And in Gala’s ending words, “If you end up doing this too, please let me know — I’d love to see your answers.”

With TLC,

How to get a Passport to get Closer to your Dreams of Traveling

travel-poem2I have many travel ideas that vary from taking an RV across the US vising every state to traveling all over Europe with my old college friends leading the way (which note I haven’t talked to in years).

Saying these plans to myself and out loud can seem at times irrational. Some reactions are of a surprised look along with a fake smile, or a look of knowing I won’t make it without even so much a smile, or just the mere rolling of their eyes is enough of a message.

My own mother gives me a look of sheer terror saying to me my thoughts are crazy and don’t I want to settle down. My answer is of course I want to settle down but I don’t have to settle down in one spot but settle all over the world with my significant other.

But I have wondered as of late, maybe I deserve these looks of disbelief. Sure I’ve traveled here and there but they have never reached my grandiose made up travel plans. So I have decided to take actual steps leading to all my travel dream destinations.

These beginning steps are not out of this world yet rather mundane and may seem common sense. But these steps are needed, to solidify dreams, to see the progress you make. Small steps lead to the big picture.

First Step: Get a passport.

Side Note: If you are renewing a passport but is expired more than 15 years (like mine, missing by one year!) then you will need to present yourself in person and offer more documentation as you would as applying for the first time. I had the luxury of my mother always setting me up with my passport, heck she even has my birth certificate! But I am a grown up and grown ups do their own responsible tasks right!??. If renewing then you fill out a different form and all your documents can be mailed off. 

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Steps:

  1. Take the picture. This picture can be taken at your local drugstore or post office. Be sure not to wear a white, or very light shirt for you’ll seem to have a floating head that is taken in front of a white background (great for Halloween spoof). Take advantage of this picture taking by gettin your hair did, putting on your favorite lipstick or chapstick and an outfit that screams you! You’ll be seeing this picture for a while so why not do it the best you can.
  2. Have your documents ready! I had the mistake of not having my birth certificate and having to go through steps with my mother to get it into my hands. They do not accept a copy so be sure to bring your actual certificate along with another form of identification such as a drivers license.
  3. Fill out the documents. Visit here to fill out and download your DS-11 paperwork. Be prepared to provide your parents information such as birth dates, your most recent passport book number (if you have one), and emergency contact information.
  4. Show up in person. At the end of filling out your paperwork the site will lead you to a list of location nearest you of where to submit all your items. If possible choose a cool location! I happen to choose the Travis County building which is a historical courthouse built 84 years ago.
  5. To receive the routine of 4 to 8 weeks you will pay $110 if you are 16 or above. You can have it expedited in 2 to 3 weeks by paying a bit more. Be sure to have it as a check or money order because they do not accept cash or a card! The processing fee of $25 will be paid to the department and can be paid in cash, card or check. Payment details are here.

After this step is accomplished check it off your travel goal list! You will feel relieved, accomplished and ready to move on to the next step as you get closer and closer to your travel dreams.

To wrap it all up in a bow, how about you do a drawing of this step or write about it in some artistic way once completed like I did above? Further showcasing this step will let the Universe/God know that you are ready to take on the work to achieve what you have always desired.

 

With TLC,

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My time at SXSW 2016

Johnny Cash and June Carter

Drawing of Johnny Cash and June Carter

I drew the truest sound couple I know, Johnny Cash and June Carter. Austin is flooded with artists who draw their imagination and paint murals that lightens the day for us. This power music couple has stood within the test of times through our headphones and speakers. The murals we see now but one day may be a ball of dust but will carry the music on by these artists and so many more.

Mural of Willie Nelson (Austin,TX)

Mural of Willie Nelson (Austin,TX)

The Willie Nelson mural was created just before this year’s SXSW. He was the first to showcase his music on ACL, Austin City Limits Live television show in 1974, paving the ways for others to shine their music unto us. He is like the logo of Austin, Texas. This mural stands bright over downtown welcoming all who come forth to feel the music in their bones.

SXSW comes and goes every year but I never grow weary of it and think I never will. I hear the grunts and complaints of people who work downtown, the locals avoiding this area when this music celebration spills over.

SXSW 2016 Crowd (photo by me)

SXSW 2016 Crowd (photo by me)

I welcome it though, I welcome the hustling bustling of crowds, the music pounding through the bars, authors speaking their hearts out. I welcome the free drinks, the free sunglasses, the free totes, the free coffee and free performances to watch.

I didn’t snatch a SXSW wrist badge, didn’t take off from work but took advantage of my lunch times, mini breaks and stayed after work when I could to catch the festivities. Tied to my desk, staring down my computer, I accepted this dance with music downtown. It was a breath of fresh air to see new people flying and driving in to hear music from all over the world.

SXSW sign

SXSW sign (photo by me)

There was no itinerary but instead I decided to go by the seat of my pants wonder out with coworkers to discover what was a few blocks away, what rabbit hole I could fall into.

FOOD

Taco Truck (Austin,TX)

Taco Truck (Austin,TX)

First of all there was the food! Need fuel for this event so what better way than to have the staple of food trucks all along the downtown streets. This food trunk in particular had a cute sign reflecting the actual “I Love You So Much” mural we have on South Congress. Not only that but I managed to snatch free Chick-fil-A burgers at Pandora event along with hot dogs and grilled cheese sandwiches at the Videotape recharge your phone event.

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Cafe Bustelo provided free coffee of your choice for their grand opening during the festivities straight in the heart of 6th Street. Their coffee and their ambiance setting made a strong impact.

What better way to pair coffee than with donuts? After the fast pace walking along the streets we decided to stop at Voodoo to snatch donuts. Our good friend coworker was so kind to give us each one which was enough to give me the greatest sweet tooth I ever encountered but so worth it.

 

MIX MEDIA 

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Autographed “Born For This” Book (photo by Rafael Marquez)

The first day of the week we managed to sneak into the event where we caught a free presentation from the author, Chris Guillebeau. It was a serendipitous moment all falling into place perfectly to find this gem of a guy who I had heard on various interviews one held by one of my favorite YouTube star, Marie Forleo. I was inspired by him because he traveled to every single country, headed his own business, found his joy, and interviewed people across the globe of how they found their joy that lead to their calling.

Netspend Local Artist Gallery (photo by me)

Netspend Local Artist Gallery (photo by me)

Netspend Local Artist Gallery

Netspend Local Artist Gallery (photo by me)

Right here at my job was an art gallery for anyone to walk in and enjoy. The event was held by Netspend, another company that shares the building with us who shared local artist’s pieces for the public to view. I feel it was a way for travelers to get to know Austin better and for the chance to buy these works of art to share the beauty of them to others.

PEOPLE

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During Saint Patrick’s Day we caught a band representing the history of Ireland, walking along the streets going in and out of bars playing the traditional Irish music dressed to the nines in kilts.

St. Patrick's Day SXSW 2016

St. Patrick’s Day SXSW 2016

Grabbed green beer on 2nd street where people in green were in rows of crowds mingling. The place was a cute quaint outside venue for free where right next door, the Irish pub was charging $15 to get in. I was on a streak of free events and wasn’t going to break it.

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Street performers filled us in awe of their talents and street wear. One that stood out among the crowds were the Ninja Turtles. Their sign read, “Need Money for Pizza.” Almost every day I would see them along the streets giving people a ride down memory lane.

MUSIC

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And had to end on a high note, the main reason SXSW happens, the music. I didn’t catch any big name bands but finding hidden gems made it just as special. For the Pandora event, a Canadian band, The Strumbellas was about to perform during my lunch break and so I spent filling myself up watching their performance. Their music was delicious along with their lyrics that fueled me to feel the love of music.

Not only were there big bands but small street bands that made just as big of a crowd. There were jazz street bands, drummers using buckets and sole singers. Below is a compilation of the music I videotaped along the way.

Hope you enjoyed my mini sound bites of SXSW. What type of music drives your soul, gets you going?

 

With TLC,

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How and Why to Make a Vision Board

Vision-board-2

I admit I was a skeptic at first, thinking why would I do a vision board, it’s just superstitious. The more I thought about it though the more my perception changed of this project. I always loved crafting things together so began to see this project as right up my alley.

I have done a couple different vision boards that are now almost like fun hobbies that I now recommend anyone to do! It gets your creative juices flowing, has you start thinking of goals you want in life and with some action behind it these vision aspirations can turn into reality. I feel now it is my duty to share with you my boards along with giving you some direction into creating your own!

The above board is my original creation but through the last couple of years I have added on more imagery into a finalized product I am happy with. Quite a few of these images have and are coming into fruition. Below are the steps I followed and hope you do as well. Let me know how it goes!

Very first step: Rough Draft Plan

plan

Write out a rough draft plan of your aspirations, goals and dreams you want to aspire to and don’t be afraid to go big! The bigger the better! A couple of points I laid out for my board was family, friends, love relationship, children, home, traveling, job, hobbies, spirituality and health.

First step: Blank Canvas

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You need a blank canvas/backboard to be your sounding board. I used a black poster board but you can use anything you have on hand or a quick trip to the dollar store or hobby lobby will get you what you need. Could get a cork board, poster board, canvas , sketchbook or just a plain legal sheet of paper (my second board was made out of this).

Second step: Images

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Collect images along the way, keep your eyes peeled of what draws you in. Most of my images are from magazines and computer but I also drew out my images. Other items that can be used are books to get your inspirational quotes/wording, construction paper to cut out shapes, tissue paper, images from computer to print out, fortune cookie slips, flash cards, post cards, greeting cards, dried flower petals. The more colorful the better!

Third step: Tools

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I used a few simple tools but thinking outside the box is encouraged. Scissors, pencils, pens, markers, paints, Mod Podge, cloth, lace, glue, tape and anything that pieces the images together into a whole.

Fourth Step: Layout

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I liked placing my images in order from what I wanted to accomplish first to last along with writing out quotes and descriptions next to the images. Once the layout is done then you’re ready to glue/tape/mod podge, thumb tack it however you want together. The second vision board above shows you a clear direction of what all I want to accomplish throughout my life but really is like a full circle of life.

Fifth Step: Location

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I have set up my board around a couple of places like my office space, in the bathroom and now currently on top of my bookcase that is somewhat of an alter surrounded with a few of my favorite pieces. The best place is where you know you’ll be viewing it on a regular basis.

I find physically putting your dreams together into a finalized creative piece gives you a stronger sense that your dreams are closer to coming true. Of course I don’t believe just looking at a board will make everything into reality. You also need to put action into your vision but action that feels good to you when doing it along with trusting the steps will fall into place.

Think of it as a fun goal setting planner that you then follow through with and you will slowly realize all that comes into your life is what you had aspired to since the beginning. Let me know how your process goes and show pictures of your work!

Bonus: A little poem quote I made below to get you goin!

vision-quote

With TLC,

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A Poem about a Grapefruit

Grapefruit Poem

Poem and mixed media illustration by me

And so I write a poem about my father. He reminded me of a grapefruit, hard on the outside but delicate inside with a distinguished taste that had an extra sweetness found nowhere else. This fruit has similar characteristics of the moon with little dents and creases, pinkish reddish color that the moon gives out on special times of the year. So the ring around the shape of the moon in my drawing is a reused peel. I have gone through many hard times thinking of why my dad left us. Most of my art reflect this but not just directly about my dad but about how all of us at times cover ourselves in this hard armor not opening up to show our true selves. Some of us go through this without ever being able to overcome it at the end. Now I’m learning we need to reach out to the ones we love even when it seems they don’t need it because its those times they may need it the most.

I always remembered his love for all foods but one of his favorites was grapefruit. It was not just that he loved it but how he ate it as if it was a ritual. It was a simple act that somehow caught me in awe of it each time. He grabbed the largest one that he could find, cut into two with the largest knife we had with sugar poured generously all over using the largest spoon, scooping up mouthfuls covered in sugar. Everything he used was big because he himself was bigger than life.

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My dad and his love for biking

With the grapefruit representing the moon, I wanted a play on of the movie, ET that suited best for my poem. My father not only loved grapefruit but loved biking. At nights when he could not sleep because of his nightmares he would get up and bike as far as he could until the sun came up. Depression is a large black hole that can swallow you whole. At the end the hole caught up with him. My piece shows a bit of darkness all around pulling you away but that there is faith from the seeds that have fallen onto earth to keep going, to keep your root alive.

The moon

Took this moon shot in Hawaii, a place my dad loved to visit

The poem written below without the images

His love for Grapefruit

He was a tart hard grapefruit

Always moving as an uproot

Kept his feelings on mute

Covered himself as a brute

Tried to fill voids with loot

Steered his life not giving a hoot

Rode his bike on his own route

So far he reached the moon afoot

His seeds fell down a chute

He looks from above leaving a tribute

To keep alive your root

Dad-hiking-revised

My dad hiking in what feels like the moon or mars.

Although my dad left us at the very end he went for what he loved as much as he could. He wanted to travel all the states which he did except for Alaska. I hope to achieve this feat for him. He hiked, biked, swam, built things, did all that he wanted to do. And I admire him for that.

With TLC,

Elisa Prell